Is Abortion Immoral?

Essay by phishstyxzUniversity, Master'sA+, March 2003

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The basis for the debate of abortion is the inability to differentiate between who and what has moral standing or significance. There are two major points of view of abortion: 1) pro-life and 2) pro-choice. Within these two categories there are three stances: A) liberal, B) conservative and C) moderate. Each of these positions views the fetus and the potential for life in a different light and therefore draws different conclusions regarding abortion.

"Are human fetuses persons, or in some other way inherently significant morally, such that we have responsibilities to the?" (Martin, 127) According to conservatives ("pro-life"), the zygote is human because it contains forty-six chromosomes and is the product of two human beings. They believe that since all humans have a right to life, the fetus is a person with a right to life. Therefore, all or most abortions should be prohibited. However, critics oppose this view and think it peculiar to think of a single cell as a human being.

They indicate that each cell within the boy has forty-six chromosomes (except the sex cells) and can be viewed as a "living thing" and a product of humans, but of course these cells are not human beings (Martin, 130). The second argument of the conservatives begins not with the zygote, but with the point at which everyone will agree there is a person. For the most part, all people believe that a healthy newborn baby is a person, so we must also consider the process that led up to that stage. This process of is one of continuous development of a single being, so if you go backwards you have to say that a zygote is a person. Critics shoot down this argument by stating that viability is one dramatic point, not a process, at which the...